By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
Everything you would ever want to know about babysitting was taught in a “Babysitting Beginnings” class hosted by Texas AgriLife and North Texas Medical Center (NTMC) on Monday. The class taught future babysitters the finer points of childcare as they learned responsibilities including babysitting dos and don’ts, sitter responsibilities, parent expectations, the business aspects of sitting and basic understanding of children.
Angel Neu, County Extension Agent Family and Consumer Sciences, taught the one day class and is excited about the opportunity offered to teach others who are interested in babysitting even if it is just to make extra money for the summer.
“We offer a certificate to those taking the class which raises their value to parents and those in need of sitter assistance,” Neu said. “For many young people, babysitting is their first experience at earning money and understanding the value of a dollar.”
Class members learn skills needed to be responsible sitters with a focus on liking children as a number one priority. This focus is enhanced in the class by learning how to solve problems, how to keep children safe and happy, proper communication with both children and parents, future career choices that may include children and how to manage money and reach goals.
Neu continued, “This is the first year teaching this class and besides the printed curriculum we teach how to do crafts, safely make snacks, create and illustrate books, reading and to carry a fun bag to entertain. We have found out that whatever in your fun bag is always more exciting than what the child may already have. New things are always good to grab attention and pass the time.”
Whitesboro middle school student Kaylynn Millhollon is learning the value of money and said that she hopes to become a doctor one day.
“I think taking the class will make me a better sitter,” she said. “I want to use the money to help with school expenses like new clothes.”
Anna Middle school student, Gabby Fornof, whose grandmother recommended the class to her said the class gave her more perspective on what she wanted to be when she grows up.
She said, “We learn a lot in this class and I know it will help me with my sitting jobs. However I want to be a nurse when I grow up so babysitting is just for summer money.”
The “beginnings” class was developed as part of 4-H curriculum and project development and is one of several programs utilized in the Agrilife Extension education across the state.
The Extension has over 900 educators in over 250 counties in Texas. The programs offered are tailored for the needs of each county and depends on resident input for curriculum choices. As stated in the AgriLife website, the mission statement is “to improve the lives of people, businesses, and communities across Texas and beyond through high-quality relevant education.”
For more information about this program and future teaching programs, contact at (940) 668-5412 or e-mail Angel Neu at email@example.com.